God's Politics

God's Politics


“Once” Upon a Time in California by Gareth Higgins

posted by God's Politics

A little film called Once has been winning the hearts of cinemagoers for a couple of months now, with even Steven Spielberg saying that it has given him “enough inspiration to last the whole year.” I finally saw it earlier this week and was moved and entertained by a beautiful little story of love and music on the streets of Dublin. But beyond the pleasure of watching natural performances, hearing great songs, and feeling connected to two lonely people trying to find happiness, Once also tells a story of economic injustice. The central characters are a vacuum repairman with a profound song-writing style, and a Czech immigrant worker who sells roses to tourists on the city streets and plays the piano and sings with heartbreaking fragility. She lives in a house with other immigrants, sharing one room for recreation, cooking, and sleeping, and is used to being treated with disdain. Once is one of the first films to take seriously the condition of the people known as the “new Irish”—the immigrants (primarily from Eastern Europe and Africa) who have made their way to the land of saints and scholars in the hope of being able to send money home to their relatives, or to make a new life for themselves.
It is rare to see these people portrayed as honestly as Once does—this is a humanized vision of people who I often walk past in my own hometown of Belfast. Artists and lovers disguised as rose sellers, manual laborers, and street-magazine hawkers. My conscience was challenged by this movie—to imagine the lives of others beyond the stereotypes that the powers that be tend to reinforce. The day after seeing Once I found myself on an inter-city bus in California and was further reminded of the often-difficult situations of those whose economic circumstances make reliance on public transportation a necessity. A journey that takes three hours by car eventually took nearly four times as long. It included very uncomfortable conditions, intimidating conversations, extremely long delays, and no accurate information for customers, many who were already feeling tired and more than a little powerless. One example should suffice to illustrate this: While in transit I met a woman who had traveled from Canada to visit her ailing brother, and partly due to the chronic tardiness of the bus company, she did not arrive in time to say goodbye. Insult piled on injury on her return trip, as she had to stand in line for several hours to ensure a place on a bus that finally left Los Angeles two hours late.
I contacted the media representatives of the bus company (which I’ll not name, but let’s just say it’s a big one, and has a picture of a fast-moving canine on the side of its vehicles) to raise questions about the way their customers appeared to be treated like cattle. They told me that they train their employees to provide information and assistance as necessary, and that they inform customers when delays are to be expected. Yet neither of these things happened on Tuesday; other customers told me that this was their all-too-common experience. The fact that this company has a near-monopoly on transporting the poor in America may mean that it does not feel the need to do much to respond to complaints. There are many comments on consumer affairs Web sites by people who have never received a response to the questions they addressed to this company. It is not difficult to believe that if everyone with a complaint told the company that they were writing an article about its service they might receive a better standard, one that at least comes close to offering more than a modicum of human dignity to passengers and employees alike. I came away from this encounter thinking that to deny dialogue to disrespected customers is only one of the ways in which the poor are downtrodden in our society. The poor are easy to ignore when they are made invisible to the powerful; it’s for this reason that I recommend that everyone should both take an inter-city bus trip (and tell the company what they think about the service), and watch Once, for it is not just a beguiling love story, but a powerful reminder of how easy it is to hide from poverty if we want to ignore it.
Gareth Higgins is a Christian writer and activist in Belfast, Northern Ireland. For the past decade he was the founder/director of the zero28 project, an initiative addressing questions of peace, justice, and culture. He is the author of the insightful How Movies Helped Save My Soul and blogs at www.godisnotelsewhere.blogspot.com



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Paul C. Quillman

posted August 13, 2007 at 11:55 am


Gareth,
As a business owner, and one who has had a few years experience in fast food management, I can sympathize with your frustrations with said canine transportation provider. However, I would also encourage you to sympathize with the frustrations of the company as well. The employees that are there, may be the best they could find from the applications that they recieved.
Unfortunately, and I know this all too well from experience, there are some people that are not motivated to do the job required of them. Service providers have a very difficult time finding and keeping service oriented employees. Part of that is the relatively lower wages when a person starts out in one of these jobs. Most managers want to see someone at least do what is expected before they invest a great deal of money into an individual that has not proven themselves yet. Once someone has proven them themselves, most managers will invest more time, money, and whatever it reasonably takes to keep that employee. Not only do individuals have to be good stewarts of their resources, but companies have to be good stewarts as well.
Unfortunately, there are few people that work in service oriented jobs that take ownership of thier own job, and run with it. Most are trained adequately to preform their jobs well.
Certainly, the company should be informed if the serivce was exceptionally lacking, (it should also be informed if the service is above and beyond, as this is the best way for the outstanding employees to get noticed, and promoted, given raises, ect.) it gives the company the oppertunity to address some of those issues in the areas that ned improvement. But, while you consider the lack of service somewhere, consider that the company may actually be doing everything it can to live up to it’s advertised service quality, this issue may not actually be the company, it might be apethetic employees.
We live in a culture where work is not as valued as it once was. With that in play, our culture has developed an entitlement mentality. Instead of seeing work as a blessing from the Lord, and the means by which God provides physical norishment and well being, our culture demands that we get what we want now. Free health care (which isn’t free, taxes pick up the rest), free housing(again not really free) free money (yet again, not free) are now seen as rights to be granted by the state, and not gifts from the Lord. We no longer see our next breath as a gift from God. That is not to say that we should ignore those who are less fortunate than us, quite the opposite, it should give us all the more compassion for them, should drive us to be all the more generous. However, we should give generously in those ways that encourage productivity, and discourage entitlement.
To be fair, there are companies that are corporately appethetic, and it is not so much the employees as it is the company. In those cases, the responsibility is properly laid at the corporate management doorstep. This canine branded transportation company may be one of them, but it may not. My guess is that it probably is some of both, corporate and employee apethy. My point is, lets not start with blaming the company. Lets look at the whole picture, as best we can. Jesus looked at the ruch young ruler, and while everyone else saw that he was doing everything he should, or could be expected to, Jesus knew the rulers heart, and demanded all of it, not just part of it. Jesus took the time to see the whole picture, not just what was on the surface.



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kevin s.

posted August 13, 2007 at 1:14 pm


I didn’t know Amtrak had a bus service.



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Blake

posted August 13, 2007 at 3:51 pm


I didn’t know that the employees of Greyhound were all so wealthy. They’re probably all in the highest tax brackets. That’s why they wouldn’t help their customers.



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bren

posted August 13, 2007 at 8:12 pm


When a company pays low wages, it makes a statement about the (lack of) importance of the job and the person doing it. If the job is worth doing well, why isn’t the worker worthy of respect? If the person shows sufficient worth that s/he is worth hiring, why isn’t s/he worth properly training?
It’s as if the company doesn’t quite trust its own hiring decisions, or fills a vacancy with anyone who’s standing and breathing.
It’s hard to believe that the savings made through not training are worth the terrible reputation the company gets because its ill-trained staff treat the public so badly. It’s too bad that the canine bus service has no competition. If it did, it would be forced to hire people it respected enough to pay and train properly so that they, in turn, can convey a similar respect for the customer.



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Paul C. Quillman

posted August 13, 2007 at 9:53 pm


Bren and Blake
Lets look past the emotion of the issue. There are two points I made that you seemed to miss.
I indicated that companies can only hire those who apply, and then presumably, they try to hire the best that they find in the stack. Having had to hire for a fast food restraunt years ago, I did not come across very many people who were motivated to work. And then, there were even fewer that stayed motivated for very long.
As I said before, our culture has bought into an entitlement mentality. Work is no longer valued. When work is no longer valued, poverty exponentially increases. We also have forgotten that work is a blessing from the Lord. It is the means by whih God graciously grants food on our tables, clothes on our backs, and roofs over our head. And weather we are of average means, or well above average means, God has commanded us to extend His materual blessings to those who are less fortunate.
Certainly the people that are employeed at the place Gareth mentioned are not rich. If they were, I doubt they would be working at that bus station. Ands I freely admit that I do not know the business practices of the company, nor do I know if the employees are preforming their jobs to the best of their abilities.
Consider the parable of the servents. All three were given talents, and all but one went and increased their lot. The two that increased their lot, were given more responsibility and more reward. The one who buried his lot lost his job. The employeer rewarded those who proved themselves, and did away with the one who did nothing with his charge. So it is with companies. Employees that do their jobs well, are rewarded, and those that do not do their jobs well, are either left at their current position, or are let go. I realize that there are exceptions, put for the most part, this is how the western working world operates.



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TimR

posted August 14, 2007 at 1:31 am


Gateth Higgins:
If you don’t like the current options for transportation for the poor, start your own bus company. If the only alternative treats their customers like cattle you’ll make a fortune! You’ll drive Greyhound right out of business.
Seriously, do you guys just sit around a table and try to find more ways to increase the social victimization level of those in poverty? Is a car going to be put on your ever-expanding list of “human rights?”



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 14, 2007 at 9:27 am


Garreth rightly identified the problem with Greyhound when he complained about its monopoly.
But how did they get a monopoly and what is holding it up?
A firm can only get monopoly power if they charge a low enough price that new competitors can’t make a profit by entering the market. This should be good for the consumer because they are enjoying the lowest possible prices. This situation would be called a natural monopoly, but there are few instances of these, and none of them represent an economic injustice.
Greyhound is the other kind of monopoly, the kind subsidized by the state.
Some portion of every greyhound ticket is already paid for before a customer walks up to the counter. These subsidies artificially create the availability of low-ish prices. Also, they provide service to locations which otherwise would not receive service at all.
Because Greyhound does not face competition and is promised funding for routes (even if nobody rides) in these subsidized markets they have no incentive to provide good service, or even to run their busses on time. Also, they have to run their busses through every rinky-dink town along the way making the trip especially long. As a result, middle class and upper class Americans chose not to take the bus. They’ll fly or drive themselves, in a rental car if they must, instead. Indeed the last time I rode Greyhound was 9 years ago, NC to California on a 2-week student pass. On and off wherever I wanted to go. But I would never take my wife and kids on such a bus. I was a shady character myself, then…
Remove the subsidy and competition will renew. Instead of the huge, wasteful, aging busses, smaller busses would serve the rinky-dinks off of spur lines, and the main lines would become more efficient, inviting use by more time-conscious individuals. As more people ride, the average cost per customer would go down and in the long run prices would become less expensive for everyone.
Where there is heavy enough traffic, competitors have risen up anyway. I have heard some interesting stories about the Chinatown bus out of NYC, and I have seen some of the migrant worker busses here in NC.
Artificially low prices that confuse incentives result in inefficiencies and almost always lower quality service. The same thing is happening in the airline industry lately (anyone lost a bag in the last few months?).
Stop trying to solve problems by manipulating coercive power, the state. Search for voluntary mechanisms which allow for free exchange and contract, the market.
Nathanael Snow



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 14, 2007 at 9:29 am


By the way, I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of Once to our market for a few months now. Thanks for alerting us to its general release!



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Moderatelad

posted August 14, 2007 at 9:58 am


Posted by: bren | August 13, 2007 8:12 PM
When a company pays low wages, it makes a statement about the (lack of) importance of the job and the person doing it. If the job is worth doing well, why isn’t the worker worthy of respect?
You will never be paid what you are worth – you will be paid what the position is worth.
Wages for the most part are based on what the item or service being sold nets the company. There use to be a huge company in Minneapolis that made clothing – mostly underware – that were sold in stores all over the country. The wages that the union demanded over the decades priced them out of a job and now we are purchasing the same brand of underware just made in another country with material that is produced in the US, shipped to the foreign country for the produce to be made. Then the final product is shipped back to us and even paying all the shipping and tarrifs – it is more cost effective to do it this way than to set up shop here in the US.
For the most part – min. wage jobs require min. education. They are a great place for some to start working and then advace to another position because they are employed and have a proven track record.
Have a great day
.



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 14, 2007 at 11:21 am


Moderatelad,
You are almost right.
An employee will be paid according to the marginal benefit they add to the process, minus a rent paid to the employer for managing risks including purchase of overhead, location of customers, etc.
People who work for themselves and accept management of these risks personally will almost always earn more money.
Owners work for themselves, and that’s part of why they earn more, even if its just a small business.
Nathanael Snow



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 14, 2007 at 11:46 am


A firm can only get monopoly power if they charge a low enough price that new competitors can’t make a profit by entering the market. This should be good for the consumer because they are enjoying the lowest possible prices. This situation would be called a natural monopoly, but there are few instances of these, and none of them represent an economic injustice.
That’s not the story here. Greyhound bought out its only serious competitor, Continental Trailways, years ago, and the overhead needed to start another bus company may be too great.
Instead of the huge, wasteful, aging busses, smaller busses would serve the rinky-dinks off of spur lines, and the main lines would become more efficient, inviting use by more time-conscious individuals.
You assume that such are necessarily cost-efficient. In fact (and I’ve always been a consistent user of public transit), “rinky-dink” areas just don’t generate the type of revenue needed to sustain service, which is the reason that bus lines in my area do not service the suburbs except during the rush hour; suburbanites are generally used to driving and thus do so.
Search for voluntary mechanisms which allow for free exchange and contract, the market.
Impossible. To do that effectively you need to start by reimposing anti-trust laws, which were relaxed in the Reagan years, because itt was then and there that firms started merging, causing virtual monopolies.



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jurisnaturalist

posted August 14, 2007 at 3:42 pm


Greyhound has a special running now. $99, anywhere in the US. That’s a great deal. So the amounts we a quibbling over here are tiny. The real differences observable to most of us are the differences in quality.
You are distrustful of large corporations. Understandable. I am distrustful of state power. Understandable?
If we fuse the two we get the worst of all possible worlds, Fascism.
It is my contention that the evil enters through the state, rather than through the business. Business do not pretend to have a legitimate hold on coercive power. They make appeals to the state to manipulate that power in their interests, but they usually prefer to preserve their image by maintaining a degree of separation between themselves and the use of force.
If the state were severely limited such that there were no power for the business to influence there ought not to be any problem.
But you suggest that any corporation holding a large market share in their industry is threatening. If a corporation is able to acquire such a large share, and the influence of government is altogether absent, then they must have risen to such a position through voluntary transactions. Where is the opportunity for evil? Where has force been applied? Is big just bad per se? Is there no logical mechanism to explain the evil present?
I am hesitant to accept such a premise.
Nathanael Snow



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bren

posted August 14, 2007 at 3:47 pm


Paul C. Quillman writes as though it’s only workers who suffer from an entitlement mentality. What I’m trying to say is that if you don’t respect your workers, why do you expect them to respect you and your job? There are jobs–and fast food places are among them–that are, and are seen to be, dead-end jobs. Is there something value-added that can be a part of this picture or is it inevitable that it be ‘dead-end’? How much of a struggle it must be to see your work as a gift from God when all around you, and you in your secret heart of hearts, describe it as ‘dead-end’.



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 14, 2007 at 4:11 pm


It is my contention that the evil enters through the state, rather than through the business.
FWIW, that contention is at best suspect, simply because of the Christian estimation of sin. Even if state power were limited in the way you envision it evil would find another way to express itself (witness the civil-rights movement, whose opponents used the issue of “big government” to maintain the racist culture that had made its way into law and which has never been fully addressed even today).
If a corporation is able to acquire such a large share, and the influence of government is altogether absent, then they must have risen to such a position through voluntary transactions.
Not necessarily. My father mentioned years ago that one of the local breweries was driven out of town by deliberate sabotage — how true that story is I don’t know, but it makes sense to me. In the business world, I put nothing past it.



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Anonymous

posted August 14, 2007 at 6:04 pm


“…..a powerful reminder of how easy it is to hide from poverty if we want to ignore it.” this anecdote from gareth seems to be a filler while he is on his trip to california. comparing the tiny, sweet, love story in romantic ireland with the service of the cross country monster bus system of the u s is reaching for a cause for sure. i wonder if he talked to any satisfied bus travelers? i wonder if he has met any immigrants in ireland who are doing just fine? i wonder if he knows any happy people? and who is hiding from poverty? and ignoring it? i wonder if the couple in once are as depressed as gareth?
gareth, fix ireland and leave the 300 million people in the u s alone. we subsidize ireland enough. if you feel like you are ignoring the poor, stop doing it.



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Paul C. Quillman

posted August 14, 2007 at 8:02 pm


Bren,
Low wage workers are not the only ones who suffer from an entitlement mentality, our whole culture is infected with it. That includes me as well.
From my own experience, as well as the experience of others, fast food does not have to be a dead end job. Since we are not naming companies, I will tell you I worked for the clown with the golden arches. I started at minimum wage. It took me about two weeks to figure out that minimum wage should be abolished, and I learned to hate and despise FICA. No, I did not come from a rich family. There were many times my parents fought hard to pay rent.
I worked harder than everyone else and got a raise. My family moved farther away from the store than they wanted to drive, so I transfered to another store. Again, I worked hard and got a raise. I got a promotion at that store. A new store opened closer to my home, and my parents said I had to transfer, or quit and find a job closer to home. (I did not have a car of my own until I was 19 or 20, and my family only had one car, until after I moved out.) Because I worked hard to earn my supervisors respect, she allowed the transfer, even though they were not suppose to let anyone transfer to the new store. I worked hard some more. I got promoted to ascociate manager. I left when I wanted to make more money than they could pay me at the level of management I was willing to be at.
When they extended to me the offer to work there, they told me what they would pay me, and what my responsibilities were. I did not have to take that job. I could have found an easier job. I might even have been able to find an easier job that paid more, but I agreed to the terms they laid out. My point is that I agreed to preform the job tasks within the confines of the law, to the best of my ability, for the $4.25 per hour they would pay me.
God, on His providence, gave me a job, and the dignity of work. Of course I did not realize that at age 16, partly because of maturity, and partly because of faulty theology. Look at Collisians chapter 3, and focus on verses 22 to 25. In light of this, how should we then work?



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Rick Nowlin

posted August 14, 2007 at 10:03 pm


Paul — Did you ever think that you may have received special treatment due to factors beyond your control, that somebody may have liked you personally? My particular occupation and company are both hard to break into, but that happened because I had more connections than the mob.



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Paul C. Quillman

posted August 14, 2007 at 10:52 pm


Rick,
That may have played part. However, all 3 store managers I worked under, as well as both area supervisors had habitually promoted people that at least did what they were expected to do. That was a very small list. An even smaller list are those who did more than they were expected. Those people usually got fast tracked. I saw assistant managers that got promoted to store managers, and in at least 3 cases, the area supervisor had no real liking for them. She did however have files on all of the managers she supervised, and on these three individuals, she could pull the files, and demonstrate that they deserved the promotions.
Perhaps I was lucky to have such managers. I got along well with most of them, most of the time. I cannot recall ever seeing someone get promoted that did not deserve it, nor did I see someone not get promoted that should not have. Promotions and raises were directly tied to performance. There were several over the 6+ years that complained that they were not getting a raise. Usually, these were also the ones that did not comply with uniform code, which was provided, and were also not doing their jobs as well as they were capable of.



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Julie in VA

posted August 16, 2007 at 4:41 pm


Paul C. Quillman says: “I indicated that companies can only hire those who apply, and then presumably, they try to hire the best that they find in the stack.”
“Work is no longer valued. When work is no longer valued, poverty exponentially increases.”
Paul, this is how I see it. Companies only hire people that apply, and people only apply to their jobs if the benefits from the work meet their requirements and match their skills and education levels. What highly motivated, well educated person is going to work for $8.00 / hour in this economy? A house that cost $75,000 ten years ago costs over a third of a million $ today, because we are so out of balance in this country.
I was willing to waitress during college because I could make a living doing it, even though my official wages were only $2.13 an hour. I worked hard and made good tips. I did NOT work a minimum wage job: I made at least twice the prevailing minimum wage. I valued my work because I was a valued employee; I didn’t have to share tips with the owners; I got recognition and health insurance; and I got to go to school at the same time I worked.
Any type of work that pays less than $50,000 / year is no longer valued because you can’t live in this country on what most jobs pay today. If the minimum wage had kept up with inflation, productivity and corporate profits since it was established, it would be somewhere between $13.50 and $24.75 an hour today.
When WORKERS are no longer valued, poverty increases. When WORKERS aren’t paid enough to be anything other than POOR, poverty exponentially increases! When employers hire people and insult them by paying them what amounts to slave wages, give them no benefits, and schedule them ridiculously long shifts, motivation drops exponentially.
Me thinkest thou might need to dismount from thy high horse. I have worked hard all my life too, and no, I am not rich. I just think I ought to be paid a living wage. It used to be that American companies only paid their CEOs about 42 x the lowest paid worker’s wage, max. Now it’s up to about 400 x that. Shareholders dictate corporate policy. The employees who work for them have no value. Therefore, they see their work as valueless.
Respect is a two – way street. That sense of entitlement you can’t see that you have is keeping you from crossing that street to see what it looks like from the other side.
Hard work and social justice aren’t mutually exclusive. I believe in both.



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Paul C. Quillman

posted August 16, 2007 at 10:23 pm


Julie,
Have you had to work 2 jobs to make ends meet? Did you elect to not have insurance because it might not have made sense to have the extra expense? Did you first respect the company enough to do the job they asked you to, to the best of your ability? Yes respect is a two way street, but who starts that, you, or the company?
In the last few weeks, I have been able to quit a second job that paid about $8 to $10 per hour, and I did not elect to take the company sponsored health plan. I quit using company health plans a few years ago, as they did not really meet my needs. Either I did without, a choice I consiously made, or I found coverage on my own. I realized that my insurance was not the responsibility of my company, it was mine.
I can assure you that I make far less than $50k per year. I am married, have 3 kids, and from time to time have to take a second job. It is the reality of life. It is not the responsibility of a company (although I work for the company I own) nor is it the responsibility of the government to provide for me what I cannot afford.
I have always valued my work, at whatever wage I was able to get. Within the first 2 weeks at my first job, I learned to despise minimum wage. Forcing a minimum wage on employeers makes employees less competitive, and I saw that if my employeer did not have to deal with a minimum wage, they would get better, and more motivated people turning in applications. This I realized at 16.
I was also willing to work 16 hour days. When I was a manager, sometimes this was necessary to get the job done.
My sense of entitlement is that I am entitled to be paid the wages I agreed to, for the job the company wanted me to do. That’s it. I have never participated in any investment (401k, ect) program, profit sharing, and have only used the company sponsored insurance plan once.
My view was always that employees need to earn the respect of their employeers, and the bennifits follow, not the other way around, because someone else can do my job, and may be able to do it better than me. But if I earn the respect of my employeer, I then have a leg up over someone who does not have my job, and may want it. Earning the respect of my employeers has always been the best form of job retention for me.
What about the companies I worked for that I was unable to earn the respect of the employeer? One of situations was my fault alone. I got arrogant, and didn’t last long. The other two, I left. I stayed as long as I needed to, in order to not damage my resume, and then left.
Julie, I’d like to ask you to look at Collisians chapter 3, and focus on verses 22 to 25. In light of this, how should we then work? Who do we really work for, and who is our supply?
Paul



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Sandra

posted August 17, 2007 at 12:06 pm


Congratulations, Paul. You have been fortunate. Health crises and massive expenses are the major causes of family bankruptcies in the USA. But I’m sure you’ve incorporated your business, so your job should be OK. Employing someone full-time and paying them far below what it costs to keep them out of poverty in the US or Canada still seems like the sin of exploiting the poor to me, though.



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Dave

posted August 17, 2007 at 3:12 pm


I just saw Once last night. Brilliant film!
And last weekend, I rode an “intercity bus” from Elkhart, Ind. to Chicago. It was on-time departing and arriving, and it was full of the diversity of this country. (Unfortunately, the bus going eastward was already an hour-plus late, although the station manager in Elkhart was keeping everyone well-informed.)
I then flew from Chicago to Portland, and my colleagues were much “whiter” than my bus companions. I’ve seen this in the past as well when I’ve taken Greyhound cross-country. In my multiple Greyhound trips, they’ve been late a few times, but never as bad as the one cross-country Amtrak trip I took.
It might be risky to make judgements about a company’s quality or credibility based on only a few anecdotes.
Dave



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Paul C. Quillman

posted August 20, 2007 at 10:03 am


Sandra
No, actually I have not incorporated. I am a one man operation. I clean all the houses, do all the paperwork, all the tax stuff, which a main cause of blood pressure going up. My wife helps me out occasionally, but we have 3 boys, and are homeschooling the oldest, so she already has the equalivant of 2 full time jobs as it is. I have had to work a second job many times to make ends meet, and sometimes that didn’t quite happen. I have had to go to the govrnment a few time for assistance, and to my church as well. I found the process of going to the church FAR more dignified than going to the welfare office.
I have never believed that it was my employeers resoponsibility to provide for my anything beyone the salary they promised to pay me for the work I promised to do, even when that salary was not enough. I either had to get a different job, or take on a second one. Perhaps someone can help me out here, but I fail to see how my employeers should have been responsible for my welfare, beyond what the law compelled them to do, as well as what the market dictated for them to stay competitive.
I also would like to see how Collisians chapter 3 speaks to the responsibility of the employeed. I know that there is Scripture that speaks to employeers, but let’s start with employees. Social justice is a two way street.
Paul



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Tim

posted August 29, 2007 at 5:20 pm


I also saw ‘Once’ and thought the same thing as I was watching it. It’s funny how the concept of social justice brings out the fire in people–as evidenced by some of the comments already made here. Mainstream evangelicalism just does not grasp it yet–they are too hung up on conservative rhetoric to see past the issue. Even when confronted with the teachings of scripture, they easily justify their view based on experience. I thought we were supposed to let the word of Christ speak for itself? Surprisingly, a mainstream evangelical Norman Geisler’s new book ‘Love Your Neighbor: Thinking Wisely About Right and Wrong’ teaches social justice very well. Let’s hope more evangelicals learn what the Bible says about it.
http://www.amazon.com/Love-Your-Neighbor-Thinking-Wisely/dp/1581349459/ref=sr_1_1/102-2085712-9684969?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1188422381&sr=8-1



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posted 11:14:07am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Why I Work for Immigration Reform (by Patty Kupfer)
When I tell people that I work on immigration reform, they usually laugh or say, "way to pick an easy topic." Everyday it feels like there is more fear, more hate. Raids are picking up in Nevada, California, and New York. A number of senators who supported comprehensive reform only a few months ago

posted 12:30:52pm Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Audio: Jim Wallis on "Value Voters" on The Tavis Smiley Show
Last week Jim was on The Tavis Smiley Show and talked about how the changing political landscape will affect the upcoming '08 election. Jim and Ken Blackwell, former Ohio secretary of state, debated and discussed both the impact of "value voters" on the election and what those values entail. + Down

posted 10:11:56am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Verse of the Day: 'peace to the far and the near'
I have seen their ways, but I will heal them; I will lead them and repay them with comfort, creating for their mourners the fruit of the lips. Peace, peace, to the far and the near, says the Lord; and I will heal them. But the wicked are like the tossing sea that cannot keep still; its waters toss u

posted 9:35:01am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »

Daily News Digest (by Duane Shank)
the latest news on Mideast, Iran, Romney-Religious right, Blog action day, Turkey, SCHIP, Iran, Aids-Africa, India, Budget, Brownback-slavery apology, Canada, and selected op-eds. Sign up to receive our daily news summary via e-mail » Blog action day. Thousands of bloggers unite in blitz of green

posted 9:31:25am Oct. 16, 2007 | read full post »




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